343 is finally updating Halo: Combat Evolved in The Master Chief Collection to match the original Xbox version’s visuals.
The latest Insider Flight update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection came out last week, and with it an email to those in the programme detailing the under-the-radar improvements.
343 mentioned the patch includes “a series of bug fixes to improve the classic visuals in H1 to better mirror the original Xbox version”. This applies to both classic campaign and multiplayer, 343 added.
Halo: Combat Evolved came out on PC in September 2003, two years after it was released on the original Xbox as a launch title. The port was the work of Borderlands maker Gearbox, and included a raft of graphical bugs that caused visual discrepancies between the two versions. For years these issues went unaddressed, and because the version of Halo: CE that’s in Halo: MCC is based on Gearbox’s PC version, those graphical issues were replicated.
Now, nearly a decade after Halo: CE came out on PC, those issues are finally being tackled. The video below, from YouTuber Generalkidd, runs through the changes 343 implemented last week.
Corrections include updating the model for Captain Keyes to match that seen in the original Xbox version of Halo, updating Jackal shields so they turn red when damaged, as in the original Halo (this also works with deployable cover), updating Covenant shield doors and the Spirit anti-gravity field to look the same as in the original Halo, and updating the teleporter in multiplayer. Fog effects are now included, too (they were broken for the PC version). And there’s been some work done to the game’s bump maps to include the detail seen on Xbox.
This is a work-in-progress. The Insider Flight is designed to test changes that may or may not make it to the public version of Halo: MCC. But it’s great to see 343 go back to long-standing issues like these and make welcome changes.